1 Samuel 17:48
And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came, and drew near to meet David, that David hastened, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.
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1 Samuel 17:48-49. The Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh — Like a stalking mountain. Having nothing but victory in his thoughts, he marched in a stately manner, pompously covered over with armour, and fearing nothing. But David, being loaded with no armour, ran nimbly toward him, so far was he from fear! David smote the Philistine in his forehead — Which was bare, perhaps the proud giant contemning David so much as to neglect to pull down his helmet over his face, lifting up that part of it which covered his forehead; or else the stone was thrown with such force that it pierced the helmet first, and then the forehead, or went in at the place that was left open for his eyes. However it was, the divine hand directed it. And he fell upon his face to the earth — “See,” says Henry, “how frail and uncertain life is, even then when it thinks itself best fortified, and how quickly, how easily, and with how small a matter, the passage may be opened for life to go out and death to enter. Goliath himself has not power over the spirit to retain the spirit, Ecclesiastes 8:8 : let not the strong man glory in his strength, nor the armed man in his armour. See how God resists the proud, and pours contempt upon those that bid defiance to him and his people! None ever hardened his heart against God and prospered.”17:48-58 See how frail and uncertain life is, even when a man thinks himself best fortified; how quickly, how easily, and by how small a matter, the passage may be opened for life to go out, and death to enter! Let not the strong man glory in his strength, nor the armed man in his armour. God resists the proud, and pours contempt on those who defy him and his people. No one ever hardened his heart against God and prospered. The history is recorded, that all may exert themselves for the honour of God, and the support of his cause, with bold and unshaken reliance on him. There is one conflict in which all the followers of the Lamb are, and must be engaged; one enemy, more formidable than Goliath, still challenges the armies of Israel. But resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Go forth to battle with the faith of David, and the powers of darkness shall not stand against you. But how often is the Christian foiled through an evil heart of unbelief!The Lord saveth not with sword ... - Observe the consistent teaching of such passages as 1 Samuel 14:6; Exodus 14:13-18; Judges 7:2, Judges 7:4,Judges 7:7; Psalm 44:6, etc., and their practical use to the Church as lessons of trust in God, and distrust of ourselves. 42-47. the Philistine said … said David to the Philistine—When the two champions met, they generally made each of them a speech, and sometimes recited some verses, filled with allusions and epithets of the most opprobrious kind, hurling contempt and defiance at one another. This kind of abusive dialogue is common among the Arab combatants still. David's speech, however, presents a striking contrast to the usual strain of these invectives. It was full of pious trust, and to God he ascribed all the glory of the triumph he anticipated. No text from Poole on this verse. And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose,.... Or prepared for the encounter, and was in all probability in great wrath and fury at hearing what David said, and which hastened him to it:

and came and drew nigh to meet David; as fast as his unwieldy body, and heavy load of armour on him, would admit of:

that David hasted and ran toward the army; the army of the Philistines, from whence this champion came:

to meet the Philistine; to get up to him before he could draw his sword, or put himself in a posture to make use of any weapon to strike at David with.

And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David {q} hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.

(q) Being moved with a fervent zeal to be revenged of this blaspheme of God's name.

48. ran toward the army] The battle array of the Philistines. He showed his courage by not waiting for Goliath to approach. The Sept. however has simply: “And the Philistine arose and went to meet David.”Verses 48, 49. - When the Philistine arose. Apparently he was seated, as was the rule with armies in ancient times when not engaged in conflict (comp. ver. 52). When, then, he saw David emerge from the ravine, he rose, and, carrying his vast load of armour, moved slowly towards his enemy, trying to frighten him by his curses. David, meanwhile, in his light equipment, ran towards the army, Hebrew, "the rank," i.e. the Philistine line, in front of which Goliath had been sitting. As the giant's helmet had no visor, that protection not having as yet been invented, and his shield was still carried by his armour bearer, his face was exposed to David's missiles. And in those days, before firearms were invented, men by constant practice "could sling stones at a hair-breadth, and not miss" (Judges 20:16). And even if David were not quite as skilful as those Benjamites, yet, as the giant could move only very slowly, the chances were that he would hit him with one or more of his five pebbles. As it was, he struck him at his first attempt upon the forehead with such force that Goliath was stunned, and fell down upon his face to the ground. When he saw David, "he looked at him, and despised him," i.e., he looked at him contemptuously, because he was a youth (as in 1 Samuel 16:12); "and then said to him, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with sticks?" (the plural מקלות is used in contemptuous exaggeration of the armour of David, which appeared so thoroughly unfit for the occasion); "and cursed David by his God (i.e., making use of the name of Jehovah in his cursing, and thus defying not David only, but the God of Israel also), and finished with the challenge, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh to the birds of heaven and the beasts of the field" (to eat). It was with such threats as these that Homer's heroes used to defy one another (vid., Hector's threat, for example, in Il. xiii. 831-2).
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